U.S.

April 16, 2012

Judge won’t block discharge effort against Marine

by Julie Watson
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A federal judge denied a request Friday to block military discharge proceedings against a Camp Pendleton Marine who called President Barack Obama an enemy on Facebook.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff ruled the military has the right to respond to Sgt. Gary Stein’s online comments in a case that has called into question the Pentagon’s policies regarding social media and the limits regarding the speech of active duty military personnel.

A military panel has recommended to a general that Stein be given an other-than-honorable discharge that also would strip him of all benefits.

A general must still decide the outcome, but Stein’s lawyers argued Friday in federal court in San Diego that Huff had the right to intervene because the ongoing proceedings go too far and are chilling the speech of Stein and other service members.

Attorney J. Mark Brewer told Huff the entire process violates the First Amendment, which federal courts have the right to uphold.

Huff disagreed, calling Stein’s postings “truly troubling.” Service members have had their speech limited since the Civil War, especially if their comments are believed to disrupt good order and discipline.

The judge pointed out Stein’s March 1 comments on a Facebook page used by Marine Corps meteorologists in which the sergeant stated, “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him.”

Stein went on to state that he supports and defends the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

“Obama is the economic enemy … He is the religious enemy … he is the ‘Fundamentally change’ America enemy … he IS the Domestic Enemy,” Stein wrote, according to court documents filed by prosecutors based on a screen grab of the page.

Stein later clarified in a posting that he would not follow any unlawful orders from the president. Huff commended Stein for doing that, but she said “nevertheless, he made a very strong statement.”

In making her ruling, Huff told Stein that service members have several options to appeal any ruling within the military, including asking for a review by a board of civilians.

Stein acknowledged after the hearing that the options are available only after he has been discharged _ which he wants to stop from happening.

The nine-year veteran who served in Iraq said he should not have his career wiped out for  “15 words on Facebook.”

“I’ve never disobeyed any order,” said Stein, whose service ends July 28. He has said he wants to re-enlist.

“It’s like a boxing match,” he said of Friday’s ruling. “I’m down two rounds now.”

Stein plans to continue to fight outside the military and go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>